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Author Topic: Year in Review | Andrew Harris: Disappointment and Glory  (Read 727 times)
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« on: December 28, 2019, 03:26:43 PM »

Year in Review | Andrew Harris: Disappointment and Glory - Ed Tait

Ed Tait takes a look back at the 2019 Blue Bombers season with his Top 10 stories of the year...

#4 ANDREW HARRIS: DISAPPOINTMENT AND GLORY

Three of the lasting images of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 2019 season - and there were many - understandably came in those moments/hours after the 107th Grey Cup victory.

There was Andrew Harris, the face of the franchise, on stage holding the Grey Cup aloft as blue and yellow confetti fell all around him. Just a few moments before that, there was Harris clutching both the Grey Cup MVP and Most Valuable Canadian trophies after arguably the greatest game of his distinguished career.

And then a couple of days later, during the Grey Cup parade that snaked through downtown Winnipeg to The Forks, it was Harris again taking centre stage as the local product drew the loudest cheers.

"It's tough to find words," said Harris after the parade. "Today it finally sunk in. We got on the bus and pulled up and I was anxious to get going. Then we started going down Portage and you see fan after fan after fan... that's when it sunk in for me."

"It's been an amazing journey and an amazing ride. To set out a goal and have a vision and to accomplish it all... it's pretty **** amazing. The whole thing today was insane. There's been a lot of support through all the things I've been through and to be here as a hometown guy, it's an amazing accomplishment.

"But this is for the city. People are saying 'Congratulations!' to me. Man, congratulations to everyone. This isn't a me thing or a team thing, this is a Winnipeg thing. This is a Manitoba thing. This is as much their championship as it is ours."

Those three scenes capped what could best be described as a spectacular-yet-tumultuous season for the veteran running back, who experienced some of the most extreme personal highs and lows imaginable over a four-month span.

Harris was doing his usual thing during the summer - leading the league in rushing - while moving past Normie Kwong to become the CFL's all-time leader among Canadians in yards from scrimmage and at the same time rocketing up the Top 10 rushing chart, when he was hit with devastating news.

On August 26th the CFL announced that he had tested positive for trace amounts of the steroid Metandienone and would be suspended for two games. It was a crushing blow for Harris - who had been tested two previous times before without any traces of the performance enhancing drug being found - and came at a time when the club was cruising with an 8-2 record.

But it also put a stain on his legacy. Harris, defiant and emotional at the press conference announcing the suspension, stated the product he took - a men's energy, anti-oxidant, multi-vitamin supplement with natural testosterone enhancers he purchased at a local store - indicated it contained 'all-natural ingredients.'

?It's been devastating," he said. "It's been hard to focus on football and hard to come in after winning a game and be thinking about what's going to happen in a couple of days or possibly next week and how it?s going to affect my team.

"I don't want to be a distraction. I would never want to put my team in jeopardy, myself in jeopardy or my career. At this point now I have to face the music and move on.

"(Sunday) I addressed the team and that was the hardest part. You put a lot of energy, effort and a lot of hours in with these guys and you become a family and you never want to let a family member down. When I addressed the team, that was the feeling in my stomach."

Harris returned to the lineup following the Banjo Bowl and played with an even greater conviction. He had 188 yards from scrimmage in a loss to Montreal, then had a career-best 166 yards rushing a couple weeks later against the Alouettes.

Over the last nine games - including the playoffs - he had 704 yards rushing and added 33 receptions for 245 yards, capped by his performance in the Grey Cup, which saw him rush for 134 yards and a score and pull in five passes for another 35 yards and a TD en route to the double-MVP honours.

Along the way he was shut out of Winnipeg team awards by the voting local media, and was named a West Division All-Star, but not a CFL All-Star after capturing his third consecutive rushing title - a first for a Bombers player.

But the sting of that - some, not all - was certainly lessened by his memorable November in which he helped bring the Grey Cup back to his hometown.

"It's a dream come true," Harris said on Grey Cup Sunday. "When you set goals and you have a plan and you envision things and when it comes true it's amazing how you put all that together and accomplish your dreams and goals.

"There's been a lot of negative attention about everything that?s gone on. For me to accomplish that... that's for everyone that wrote an article or said something on Twitter or said something to anyone.

"I just wanted to come out here and play my best game. I was able to do that today. I'm just proud of my teammates for supporting me and my friends and family. This is a big game for me and I was able to play my best."

This is the seventh in a series recapping the Top 10 Bomber stories of 2019.

Next: #3 - SLAYING A DRAGON IN CALGARY

Previously:
#5 - C'MON DOWN TO WINNIPEG, WILLIE
#6 - THE COLLAROS TRADE: UNEARTHING GOLD AT THE DEADLINE
#7 - STABILITY... AND CHANGE
#8 - ADVERSITY HITS
#9 - BURSTING OUT OF THE STARTING BLOCKS
#10 - RELOADING AFTER 2018


You can find all of Ed Tait's Year in Review articles here!
« Last Edit: December 28, 2019, 03:29:34 PM by ModAdmin » Logged

"You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one." - John Wooden
Fred C Dobbs
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2019, 09:07:55 PM »

Andrew Harris finishes the year by being named the top CFL running back of the decade:

https://3downnation.com/2019/12/29/the-3downnation-all-decade-cfl-team-running-back/
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GOLDMEMBER
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2019, 11:09:31 PM »

Andrew Harris finishes the year by being named the top CFL running back of the decade:

https://3downnation.com/2019/12/29/the-3downnation-all-decade-cfl-team-running-back/
well deserved! Number 1!
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I LOSHT MY MEMBER IN AN UNFORTUNATE SHMELTING ACCSHIDENT!
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« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2019, 03:32:52 PM »

Just a reminder....if you want to relive the year of the Grey Cup....it is available in the series of 10 articles by Ed Tait in the following link:

https://www.bluebombers.com/news/
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"You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one." - John Wooden
Lincoln Locomotive
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« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2019, 03:43:07 PM »

Well it certainly puts an exclamation mark on Andrews career....now he just has to let go of what he referred to as "the haters"....because they won't go away any time soon.    Just reading the comment section on the published article it was apparent that fans, players and sportscasters are all in included in that group, however he can't let it get to him as he knows within himself what the truth of the matter is.   I actually wished he hadn't referred to them in his post Grey Cup address to the fans.....his stellar play spoke for itself!   Let it go Andrew as difficult as it might seem.   
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Conjuring up the ghost of Leo Lewis to help lead this 2019 team to victory!!
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« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2019, 07:29:21 PM »

I doubt Harris gives a rip what salty keyboard warriors have to say on social media. I also doubt he cares what any of the critical writers have to say about him, either. He's always been a player who's put his money where his mouth is and lets his actions speak for him. He tends to let the outside noise roll off his shoulders and the latter half of the 2019 season was no exception, right up to the championship icing on the proverbial cake when he played like man possessed.

His little chirp at the Grey Cup was, at least to me, his elation and emotion maybe getting the best of him. He got the last laugh on Nov. 24th, 2019 and I know I chuckled when he called out those losers because, at the end of the day, a trace amount of some archaic substance had literally nothing to do with his production on the field.

If anything, that adversity will only temper his resolve for the remainder of his career.
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#forthew
#gotthew

No drought about it.
Still can't fix stupid. And you apparently can't quarantine, it either.
bomb squad
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« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2019, 09:22:17 PM »

Obviously he does care or he wouldn't have said what he said at the Grey Cup. I wish he would have just dodged the question because I don't think saying what he felt served him well in that instance. But, he felt he needed to say it, so I have to respect that. I agree the moment did contribute to it.

I wasn't pleased with the question in the first place. Certainly the timing of it anyways.
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blue girl
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« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2019, 09:57:44 PM »

I think that if the media would just let it go so would he, but they had to bring it all up again. I'm glad he said what he did.
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blue_or_die
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« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2019, 04:31:51 AM »

I loved Harris's jab at the haters.

LOVED.
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107th Grey Cup champs and WE ARE LIT
Lincoln Locomotive
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« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2019, 07:19:17 AM »

I think that if the media would just let it go so would he, but they had to bring it all up again. I'm glad he said what he did.
True about the TSN sportscasters.....also not a big fan of Naylor or Bauming after what they implied.....but he needs to let it go now so he can move forward.....albeit I did like the way he played with that great big chip on his shoulder!
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TecnoGenius
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« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2019, 07:31:59 AM »

Just a reminder....if you want to relive the year of the Grey Cup....it is available in the series of 10 articles by Ed Tait in the following link:

I'm reliving the season by rewatching all of our games this week, in order!  Well, I'm not at a L yet, and I'm debating whether to rewatch those ones.  Cheesy  I think I can stomach all the losses except the MTL (and maybe the TOR) one.  I think...

I think that if the media would just let it go so would he, but they had to bring it all up again. I'm glad he said what he did.

Well, I can't recall the media ever bringing up (in any significant way) any other PED-positive player's failed test again the subsequent season.  I'd hope the media will forget about it by the time June rolls around.  I have no idea what would justify picking on AH33 more than they have every other failed-test player in modern history.
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Lincoln Locomotive
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« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2019, 08:27:19 PM »

I'm reliving the season by rewatching all of our games this week, in order!  Well, I'm not at a L yet, and I'm debating whether to rewatch those ones.  Cheesy  I think I can stomach all the losses except the MTL (and maybe the TOR) one.  I think...

Well, I can't recall the media ever bringing up (in any significant way) any other PED-positive player's failed test again the subsequent season.  I'd hope the media will forget about it by the time June rolls around.  I have no idea what would justify picking on AH33 more than they have every other failed-test player in modern history.

i agree....wonder if Bauming is welcome in the Bomber locker room after he voted against AH....??   
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Conjuring up the ghost of Leo Lewis to help lead this 2019 team to victory!!
blue girl
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« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2019, 09:19:20 PM »

True about the TSN sportscasters.....also not a big fan of Naylor or Bauming after what they implied.....but he needs to let it go now so he can move forward.....albeit I did like the way he played with that great big chip on his shoulder!
What will be interesting to me will be when TSN does their top 50 players list. We'll see if they've let it go by if and where Andrew Harris is on the list.
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